Maritime News

NorSea Group, the leading supplier of base services and integrated logistics systems to the Norwegian oil and gas industry, and the Scrabster Harbour Trust in Caithness have just signed an agreement which will result in major investment and new job prospects for the local economy.

Under the agreement NorSea Group will work with the Trust to bring in new business and develop Scotland’s most northerly mainland port as a one-stop supply base servicing the oil and gas industry.

NorseaGroup  Scrabster Harbour, Caithness, Scotland

NorSea Group already operates nine supply bases along the coast of Norway which provide logistics support to companies operating offshore on the Norwegian continental shelf. The Scrabster base will be the company’s first in Scotland and will combine the expertise, successful track record and resources of NorSea Group with the benefits of Scotland’s most northerly mainland port.

The bases in Norway each host between 40 and 60 companies in the oil and gas industry providing full range of services from warehouse and storage facilities to engineering, construction, lifting equipment and inspections, mechanical workshops and machining to waste handling and storage. The new plans will see a similar model developed in Scrabster.

Scrabster is currently undergoing significant redevelopment which will support the development of the base. The first phase has created a modern deepwater quay with 11,573 square metres of quayside and lay-down area which complement the existing harbour facilities and the port’s strategic location.

John E Stangeland, CEO of NorSea Group, said: “We are very excited about co-operating with Scrabster Harbour Trust to develop business for the strategically important port of Scrabster. The vision and commitment of the Trust have been fundamental in our decision to establish NorSea Group there. We are committed to involving the local community in all aspects of our phased development which will bring significant investment and job opportunities.

“NorSea Group is also very optimistic about opportunities which may arise from the emerging marine renewables sector as the company’s skills, expertise and operational model will be well suited to meet the needs of this sector.”

William Calder, Chair of Scrabster Harbour Trust, said: “We are delighted that NorSea Group has chosen to establish itself at Scrabster, especially at this time of redevelopment of the harbour to respond to new business demands. Scrabster is ideally situated to support the major oil and gas developments emerging west of Shetland.

“I recently visited NorSea Group bases in Norway and was impressed by the operational excellence and supporting infrastructure at their bases, a model of which will be eminently transferable to the further development at Scrabster Harbour.”


Asset-Guardian-Logo-Transparent-Background-Large-PNGAsset Guardian Solutions Ltd (AGSL), which specializes in protecting companies’ process critical software assets, announced that it has secured an important contract with Stena Drilling Ltd of Aberdeen, Scotland. This contract represents a significant development for AGSL, reinforcing its position within the Oil and Gas Drilling sector.

Managing and securing process critical software

As a result of this contract award, AGSL will provide Stena with Asset Guardian, its fully configurable process software management tool designed to meet the specific needs of Rig Control and Automation Systems. It will centralize Stena’s software and data storage into a single repository, improving workflow management, reducing risk and enhancing the ability to recover software and data should system failure occur, thus minimizing any negative impact on production.

Asset Guardian software will be installed on Stena’s entire fleet of drilling vessels. In addition toStenaDrilling2 providing a safer, more secure means of storing software and data management associated with each programmable system, Asset Guardian will also manage the process for making changes to the software configuration of these systems, ensuring compliance with industry standards, regulations and guidelines, such as IEEE 828 2005, CPNI, IEC61508, 61511, ISO 9001, and HSE KP4, among others.

The global nature of Stena’s business means that its drilling vessels and rigs are often required to operate in remote locations, sometimes with poor or intermittent access to the internet. To eliminate problems associated with poor communication links between remote locations and onshore facilities, AGSL will also provide AGSync, a solution specifically designed for the oil and gas industry which allows data and files to be seamlessly synchronized between locations.

The contract also provides for customization of the Asset Guardian system to Stena’s precise requirements, and migration of data from its existing system into Asset Guardian.

AGSL is also required to supply a third party review of Stena's process control management procedures and an annual audit of each offshore facility. These audits will include verification of software backups, validation of hardware and software records, and review of Stena's adherence to international standards and procedures.

Providing secure solutions to the oil and gas industry

The six figure contract from Stena Drilling is one of several recent contract awards to AGSL from companies operating in the oil and gas industry. Most recently, operator Woodside of Australia awarded AGSL a contract to provide a Programmable Systems Management tool set to provide enhanced management of its critical software assets. The company also welcomed contracts from BP, Marathon Oil UK and EON.

The agreement with Stena is a real breakthrough for us since it is our first major contract with a drilling company,” said Peter Beales, Business Development Manager for AGSL. “It demonstrates that our services have wide applicability across the oil and gas sector.”

Our contacts at Stena Drilling confessed that it was refreshing to encounter people who are not only knowledgeable and well-informed about industry regulatory requirements, but are passionate about their product,” said Beales. “We take great pride in compliments like this because it is precisely how we would like AGSL to be perceived: informed and passionate.”


BMT ARGOSS (BMT), a subsidiary of BMT Group Ltd, has secured a long-term contract to provide an oil major with weather forecasting services for all its North Caspian Sea operations, both offshore and onshore. The scope of BMT’s work includes provision of all forecasting services including Metocean and aviation as well as all operational support, including maintenance of meteorological equipment on all of the installations.


BMT’s working relationship with this oil major extends back to 2009, providing elements of the forecasting services package. However the new contract sees BMT as the sole provider of weather forecasting services.

BMT’s 13 strong team will provide a 24/7 service in extremely harsh weather conditions with temperatures as low as -30oc. Where necessary, BMT’s forecasters and Metocean service specialists will travel to offshore installations to provide bespoke ice and aviation forecasts to support operational requirements.

Jean-Paul Lindeboom, BMT ARGOSS Forecast Manager, comments: “BMT’s local forecasting team based in Atyrau, Kazakhstan has already demonstrated the quality of its work against a third party benchmark. We’re delighted that our client has recognised this in awarding BMT all its North Caspian Sea forecasting work against some stiff competition.”

He continues: “Because the continental climate prevalent in the North Caspian Sea causes extremes of temperature in both summer and winter, accurate, real-time forecasting is a prerequisite to planning and carrying out day to day operations. BMT helps utilise the full potential of available weather windows, allowing the client to reduce operational risk and save time.”


CGGlogoCGG and Louis Dreyfus Armateurs Group (LDA) announces the creation of a ship management joint venture, GeofieLD Ship Management Services. Co-owned 50 % by CGG and 50 % by Louis Dreyfus Armateurs Group, the new joint venture will provide maritime ship management services for five of CGG’s high-capacity 3D seismic vessels.

This equal ownership reflects the common vision of CGG and Louis Dreyfus Armateurs to combine their seismic and maritime expertise and experience in order to align QHSE systems, streamline communication and define the JV’s strategy. This move also underlines the commitment shared by both parties to establishing a reliable maritime platform and maximizing the overall seismic performance of the five vessels managed by the joint venture. 

The joint venture will be based in Suresnes, France. Alain Coatanhay from Louis Dreyfus Armateurs will be the Chairman of this new joint venture and David Rapidel from CGG has been appointed as Managing Director.

Jean-Georges Malcor, CEO of CGG, said: "This second joint venture marks another milestone in our performance action plan. It reinforces our strategy to streamline the number of our maritime partners, following our first ship management joint venture with Norwegian shipowner, Eidesvik Offshore, in May 2011. We are confident that by pooling our expertise, culture and history with Louis Dreyfus Armateurs Group, a leader in marine activities and our long-term partner since 1990, within this new joint venture, we will provide first-class ship management services to meet the expectations of our clients.”

Philippe Louis-Dreyfus, President of Louis Dreyfus Armateurs Group, declared: "This joint venture further strengthens our ties with CGG, which started in 1990. This move comes as recognition of the skills and commitment of our teams. The sea offers great opportunities and I am proud of this new step forward in our strategy of partnerships with large industrial groups, such as CGG, a worldwide leader in geoscience.”


InterMoor, an Acteon company, has successfully completed a contract with Cross Group, Inc. that included the provision of heave-compensation services for the installation of a Cross 7.0 workover riser package (WRP). An InterMoor compensated anchor-handler subsea installation method (CASIM) unit played a key role in deploying and recovering the WRP.

CASIM-Configurations1“The CASIM system enabled us to provide effective heave compensation and to recover the delicate WRP on a vessel without an active heave-compensated crane or stern roller,” said InterMoor vice president of business development David Cobb. “That was the only way to achieve the WRP installation from this vessel. The success of this project underlines the value of the CASIM system as a cost- and time-effective solution, and explains why more and more subsea contractors and operators are choosing it to facilitate the installation of workover packages.”

Each standard CASIM unit has a maximum stroke of 3 meters and can accommodate loads up to 50 tons.

The heave compensation operation was in water depths of about 140 meters and used Cal Dive’s Uncle John DP saturation diving vessel to install the 29-ton WRP. The project took place at East Cameron well 378#3, offshore Louisiana, USA. The Cross Group is conducting a plugging and abandonment (P&A) program in the field for EPL Oil & Gas, Inc.

This project demonstrates how InterMoor can provide cost-effective solutions for the installation of subsea workover equipment using vessels of opportunity. Operators trust InterMoor to be part of their P&A campaigns and to help them meet BOEMRE NTL No. 2010-G05 requirements for timely decommissioning of idle infrastructure on active leases.


Design and analysis of offshore and maritime structures has previously involved the use of several different models where data from one model must be manually transferred to others – a costly and time-consuming process. DNV Software is now releasing Sesam GeniE 6.4, where design engineers can use one single model for design, modification and life extension. This new version increases significantly both efficiency and the quality of the design results, says Ole Jan Nekstad, DNV Software Product Director for Sesam.

One of the key features of the new Sesam GeniE release is the ability to work inside a consistent user interface. A typical example of such is connections between pile and leg as well as the disconnection of beams and plates. The data model may be made by Sesam GeniE only or imported from several systems. This is a major timesaver in for example life extension analysis for customers who use supporting programs.

“This release will enable users to do more, as well as to do it more easily,” says Nekstad.  “In addition, they will have better control with higher quality of calculations.”

“Sesam GeniE has seen an exceptional growth in sales across the globe,” says DNV Software Managing Director Are Føllesdal Tjønn. “This enables us to invest even more in development, and we see the results now. Our offshore engineering solution has unique capabilities in an integrated environment for structural modelling, environmental load calculations, structural response analysis and engineering evaluation and redesign,” he says.

Part of the integrated one-model solution allows tension and compression analysis inside Sesam GeniE. This has been requested by customers in order to reduce superfluous investments in separate systems, thereby cutting cost on unnecessary licences and on training.

For customers needing to migrate model data from other systems, the new release features expanded import capabilities where less manual work is needed, another way to cut cost.

Details about Sesam GeniE:


Aker Arctic Technology Inc

Press Conference at OTC 2013

Date: Wednesday, 8th May

Time: 1500-1550hrs

Venue: Press Room 108D, First Floor, Reliant Centre

Title: The Arctic Oblique Oil Spill Recovery Icebreaker

With the awarding of drilling permits in the Arctic subject to increasing scrutiny, Aker Arctic Technology is introducing the ‘Heavy Duty’ Oblique Icebreaker Project for Arctic Application (Aker ARC 100 HD).

Aker-Arctic-The ARC 100 HD is a new advance on what is already recognised as a true design innovation to allow ice-going vessel operations in the harshest of environments. It is distinguished by its inclusion of new technical solutions covering oil spill response.

Formal launch coincides with the start of hull assembly work on the first vessel to be built to the ARC 100 concept for delivery to the Russian Ministry of Transport by early 2014. Those attending this event will gain an overview of the project’s objectives and the research behind it, an update on construction work at Kaliningrad’s OJSC Yantar and Helsinki’s Archtech yards, and insight into the concept’s unique manoeuvring, ice management and oil recovery capabilities.

Presented by Mikko Niini, President, Aker Arctic Technology Inc


veripos_logoLeading Norwegian exploration seismic contractor Dolphin Geophysical of Bergen has awarded Veripos a new three-year contract for provision of satellite positioning services aboard its fleet of specialist high-capacity vessels, Artemis Arctic, Artemis Atlantic, Polar Duke and Polar Duchess;  the services will also be extended to include Sanco Swift, a new 96-meter vessel due to be commissioned later this year.

All five vessels will use Veripos’s latest Apex2 and Ultra2 dual beam Precise Point Positioning (PPP) services employing both GPS and Glonass constellations supported by an NTrip internet-based correction service.   Associated onboard hardware for each vessel comprises triple Veripos LD6/LD2 modular receivers together with Verify QC processing software for real-time monitoring and control.

Commenting on the contract award, Angus Scott, Veripos Vice-President for Europe, Africa and the Middle East, said that it marked a further important stage in the company’s continuing support of Dolphin Geophysical’s worldwide operations following earlier supply of GNSS positioning services which began in 2011.


Amarcon, a member of the ABB group, announced that it has signed a cooperation agreement with GTT (Gaztransport & Technigaz) to market and further develop a forecasting and advice software system for sloshing prevention onboard LNG carriers. The agreement was signed at the LNG17 Conference & Exhibition in Houston,US.

In the coming years, a significant growth in the long distance transport of LNG is expected.GTT-Amarcon-Sign-LNG-Tanks-Deal Consequently, a considerable number of new build LNG carriers will come into the market. It is clear that the safe operation of these vessels will be imperative. To respond to this demand, last year Amarcon and GTT already announced the joint effort on development of sloshing prevention software for LNG Carriers. The sloshing prevention is an advanced module within Amarcon’s OCTOPUS advisory suite that will forecast and advise the crew with optimum route to achieve time savings while preventing risk for sloshing. Sloshing prevention will greatly boost the LNG tanker’s safe conditions and optimize the operational availability of the ships

“We are looking forward on working together with GTT in order to serve LNG carriers with a state of the art onboard sloshing advice, which will help crews to choose the route, speed and course with least risk for sloshing, so time savings can be achieved and damage to the LNG membrane tanks can be prevented. Also in the offshore LNG, we see large potential and need for this kind monitoring and advisory systems as a part of an asset management program” Leon, Adegeest, General Manager of Amarcon said.

GTT (Gaztransport & Technigaz) is a French engineering company formed in 1994 specializing in designing and licensing the construction of cryogenic LNG storage tanks for the shipbuilding industry.

Amarcon, a fully owned subsidiary of ABB, provides monitoring and forecasting software solutions for performance and availability optimization of sea-going vessels, and is the leader in vessel motion prediction solutions. ABB acquired Amarcon in august 2012 as an important step to expand its marine software offering. Today, ABB offers a wide range of marine advisory and optimization systems to the maritime and offshore market.


Bowhead_Transport.RGB.LCrowleyBowhead Transport Company, LLC, and Crowley Marine Services, Inc., have announced the formation of a joint venture to provide marine services in Alaska’s Arctic. The new Alaska-based joint venture will operate under the name UIC Bowhead-Crowley, LLC. Bowhead Transport is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ukpeaġvik Iñupiat Corporation (UIC), the Alaska Native Village Corporation of Barrow, Alaska.

Both companies have longstanding histories of providing services in the Arctic with Bowhead Transport Company providing common carriage service for 30 years to the coastal communities of Alaska and Crowley providing marine transportation, energy support and petroleum distribution services for over 60 years throughout the state.

The companies’ complementary business models offer clients a comprehensive package for their marine, logistics and transportation needs. The UIC Bowhead-Crowley joint venture will be mainly focused on the oil and gas industries and supporting their growing needs in the Arctic. Because of the companies’ strong ties to the communities in which they work, they are able to facilitate local hire and provide local expertise.

"This new partnership is really tailored to meet the needs of customers in the oil and gas; mining and minerals; and engineering, procurement and construction management industries,” said Crowley’s Bruce Harland, vice president in Anchorage. “Crowley has provided turnkey marine solutions in the Arctic for many years utilizing the company's diverse capabilities, assets and world-class project management skills. Our solutions team is very much looking forward to working with Bowhead to provide greater value to customers with multifaceted marine and offshore construction-related projects.”

“We look to provide greater efficiency, lower costs, expanded capabilities and higher value to our customers through the joint venture. Both of our companies have a strong commitment to the safety of our employees and those we work with and strive to be good citizens in every community in which we operate,” said Jim Dwight, general manager of Bowhead Transport Company.


Delivering 1 high-tech PSV only 22-month after shipbuilding contract signed

On April 16 in Aberdeen UK, a seaport city on the North Sea, SINOPACIFIC & Deep Sea Supply together held a grand naming ceremony and gala dinner for the first PX105 platform supply vessel (PSV) among 12 ones contracted between the above shipbuilder & ship owner.


Sea Falcon features steel structure, single deck, engine room arranged below the main deck on the stem, bullet-like dimension and wide deck provided at midship stern.

Madame Dana House named this vessel as “SEA FALCON”. With Champagne drawing elegant arc lines onto the broadside accompanied with fireworks blooming and whistle blowing, atmosphere at ceremony site reached its climax. About 80 delegates from offshore oil and gas manufacturers, OSV ship-owners, operators and designers, marine equipment suppliers, classification society, news media, legal and financial services institutions witnessed this wonderful moment.

The high-tech PSV PX105 built by SINOPACIFIC, is one of the most complicated PSVs in the world. Designed by Ulstein Design & Solutions, PX105 is 88.8m in length overall, 82.0m in length between perpendiculars, 19.0m in breadth, 8.0m in depth moulded, 4543T in maximum deadweight and 15.7 knots in service speed (at 5.0m draft). PX105’s hull line adopts X-BOW design which Ulstein takes pride in to minimize violent impact from rough sea and ensure safety and stability for the vessel in adverse marine environment. Meanwhile, it is quite outstanding from environmental protection consideration: Generator exhaust emission meets European Automobile Emission Standard and the entire vessel meets Class 3 standard in noise, vibration, temperature, humidity and comfort; fully prepared upon hardware and software for the functional upgrading demands on floating oil recovery and fire control.

It is amazing that only 22-month after signing the contract, SINOPACIFIC delivered such a high-tech PSV to Deep Sea Supply. This marked another important milestone in SINOPACIFIC’s history of building high value-added OSV. “We cannot make this successful delivery without the close coordination from the ship-owner.” SINOPACIFIC Co-CEO Qiang Jiang indicated that he highly appreciated the practical attitude of Deep Sea Supply. He added: “In order to achieve flawless implementation of the system design, sufficient communication between us has started from the engineering stage; in addition, all key modification items were confirmed before the building started. And by doing so, it not only facilitated the manufacturing process, but also benefited an effective control on cost, quality and progress.”

As a prestigious investor in the international shipping industry, Deep Sea Supply has kept leveraging its strategic thinking from the perspective of an investor and managed to achieve dynamic balance between market supply and demand. The “SEA FALCON” PSV is the first vessel among 12 vessels that Deep Sea Supply has purchased from SINOPACIFIC.

SINOPACIFIC Chairman and CEO Simon Liang said frankly: “Without extensive experience accumulated in the past years, it would be impossible for us to complete this high-tech vessel. At the very beginning of building OSV, we have been encountering with challenges when cooperating with the leading suppliers from North Europe. It’s lucky that both parties make every effort to push forward the cooperation out of open minds and everything gets well later. Nowadays, our project management team can make skillful use of scientific management method and precise production process control in each process from OSV design to purchase and manufacture.” He also pointed out that the current success should thanks to what they had learnt from building PX105 series vessels for Bourbon and thanks to the close cooperation with Ulstein and DNV during past years.

Actually, before establishing its branch company in Norway, SINOPACIFIC had already determined to develop into a shipbuilder who can make good use of advanced design and high-end equipment from North Europe. “We feel pleased we have accomplished this target!” emphasized Simon Liang. With the SINOPACIFIC Norway serving as a bridge, SINOPACIFIC can smoothly communicate with their counterparts in North Europe and now have won vigorous support from those prestigious global suppliers. Meanwhile, professional technicians based in SINOPACIFIC Norway have been supporting the shipyard to further optimize its project management process.

As a technical-driven enterprise, SINOPACIFIC has participated in the design and building of 21 types of OSVs and mastered the full cycle of ship design and onsite technical support capabilities ranging from conceptual design, basic design, detailed design and production design for ships. Currently, SINOPACIFIC has about 10 OSV products of proprietary design, which covers both standard design and customized design. More than 130 OSVs that have been delivered to ship-owners are now in stable and reliable operation. It’s proved that they outperform similar products in charterparty and utilization rate as well as customer satisfaction.

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